A soldier from Weare Giffard is celebrating after claiming a British Army Ski Championship title.

Holly Lake in action in the giant slalom at Chantemerle. Picture: Black Lance PhotographyHolly Lake in action in the giant slalom at Chantemerle. Picture: Black Lance Photography

Holly Lake raced to victory in the ladies' giant slalom competition in Chantemerle, France on Thursday.

The 26-year-old lance corporal was fastest in both runs on the way to finishing with a total time of 2:43.34.

She topped the podium ahead of Hattie Bennett (2:44.43) and Caroline Mantell (2:47.08).

Lake, who serves in 5 Force Support Battalion of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was shocked to claim a title in just her second season of army ski racing.

Holly Lake on the podium after winning the British Army Ski Championships giant slalom competition. Picture: Black Lance PhotographyHolly Lake on the podium after winning the British Army Ski Championships giant slalom competition. Picture: Black Lance Photography

"It felt surreal to see my time as one of the fastest after my second run," she said.

"I wasn't expecting to podium let alone win so once the times were added together I was shocked.

"I'd spent the previous year looking at everybody else podium and thought maybe I could get a third place in a few years if I'm lucky.

"I couldn't believe it was actually happening as I received my trophy and climbed onto the podium. It took me all evening to come back down to earth."

Lake's described her first run of 1:20.71 as 'messy' with a couple of near misses, while her second, which clocked in at 1:22.63 felt more controlled.

She added: "The bottom of the course had some icy and tricky turns which were by no means pretty to watch.

"I describe my skiing that day as just getting it done as opposed to beautiful technique.

"This is my second time attending the Army Championships. Last year I attended after my team managed to drag me through the divisional championships but this year I qualified in my own right as an individual in just my second season racing."

Her performance at the championships has landed her with a place on the army team for the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships in the French resort of Meribel.